Our belief, at Cranham, is that children need to be immersed in quality texts in order to be able to learn how to write well. We believe that there are four purposes for writing:
Writing to entertain
Writing to inform
Writing to Instruct/explain
Writing to persuade
All children follow a sequence of learning based on a quality text and are encouraged to write daily. They complete a elicitation task, which is used to inform the next steps in the sequence. The children then follow the process of writing, developing the 'writerly skills' needed, working on their specific needs and the demands of the curriculum, and working towards an end piece. Progress is measured at this point and next steps identified for the next sequence.
As a school we follow the No Nonsense Spelling programme. This is taught at least twice a week in KS2, with 5 sessions over two weeks. In KS1 and EYFS, phonics and spellings are taught daily (information on our approach can be found on our Parent Pages).
Although the programme is aimed for year 2 onwards the spelling strategies are introduced in EYFS and year 1 so children are prepared for the specific teaching in year 2.
As well as No Nonsense Spelling, we also immerse children in the vocabulary they will need in their foundation subjects; these are displayed in the classroom and in their books for reference.
Children are given time to practise a number of spellings (number and choice of spelling is dependent on the age of the child) before they write, across all subjects. These are modelled and written on handwriting guidelines so that spelling and handwriting are targeted. The words are then used in writing and acknowledged in marking.
We believe that children need to have fluency of hand in order to record quickly and easily. We use the Nelson spelling programme across school and this is practised on handwriting guidelines. In year 1 and 2, children write on guidelines during English sessions to embed the handwriting early. The handwriting guideline books are then used across the school for anyone that needs that layer of support.
Grammar and punctuation is integrated in to the sequences of learning wherever possible. Where it is not possible this is taught explicitly.
At Cranham, we believe that we must foster a love of books and reading for our children. We know we must immerse our children in books, film and specifically story. Our rigorous approach to the teaching of reading develops fluency, confidence and enjoyment. During the early years, children will be taught phonics in a systematic way and this continues through key stage 1. As reading is crucial to the development of writing there are several ways that we teach and expose children to it:
KS1 – there are guided reading sessions daily. Our sessions use texts that match the children's phonic knowledge and focus on developing fluency and early comprehension skills.
KS2 – there are whole class reading sessions daily. Our sessions use age- appropriate texts and cover well- known and modern authors as well as literature classics. We use strategies to develop reading fluency and our comprehension skills are developed by exploring Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising.
EYFS – children use texts that match the children's phonic knowledge, developing reading fluency and early comprehension skills.
We value all of the support and time our parents offer their children. We hold reading sessions in school where we explain and show parents how they can best support their children. In EYFS and KS1, our children take two books home a week: a phonetically decodable book to allow them to reread for fluency and apply their phonics knowledge, and a 'book for pleasure' to be shared and enjoyed with family. Reading books are carefully matched to children’s phonic ability and these are checked regularly.
In KS2, children will be able to choose from age- appropriate books, which are banded, and a selection of our 'recommended reads'. Even at this older age, we expect our children to read with an adult at least three times a week to help develop understanding and a pleasure for reading.
We have a set of 40- 50 books in every year group that are known as our 'Recommended Reads'. These are age- appropriate and include a range of well- known authors, modern authors and literature classic. Our children will be rewarded for reading these, whether it be independently or with an adult.
Reading into Writing
Every sequence will involve 'reading into writing'. This involves children looking closely at the quality text the class are using for their sequence of learning. They unpick the text, discuss language choices, infer, deduce, retrieve information and look at punctuation.
‘Only by modelling excellent examples can children develop a sense of what the end product might look like and the different ways in which excellence might be achieved.’
Reading at the end of the day
All teachers read to their children for the last 10 minutes of every day. This is to ensure our children are exposed to a wealth of stories.